Competency hearing postponed for teen charged with murder, rape of 12-year-old girl

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 20:39:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A hearing in federal court Tuesday was postponed as a defense team works to determine if a 16-year-old boy, charged with the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, is competent to stand trial.

The defense says there are some very complicated issues related to the teen's medical history and social history that need to be evaluated before he can stand trial, and it's taking a long time to investigate it, which is why they need more time.

"A lot of it has to do with where the individual is, what their mental state is currently, whether there are any medical issues, whether there are mental health issues," said Michael Sikora, Salt Lake Legal Defender Association.

The judge in the case gave the defense an extra 90 to determine the boy's competence.

The crime centers on 12-year-old Kailey Vijil, whose body was found in an empty lot about a half mile from her West Valley City home last July.

The medical examiner determined Kailey was raped and strangled.

According to police, the defendant, who was 15 years old at the time, knocked on Kailey's door and asked her to come out and play. That's the last time the girl was seen alive.

Another key issue in this case is whether or not the defendant should stand trial as a juvenile or an adult, which won't be determined until after a decision is made regarding his competency.

The teen’s next court date is scheduled for July 21.